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  • Foto del escritorThe Corporate Reviews

Mohamed Ghazala

Co-Founder and VP of Operations, DAMA Egypt

 


Describe DAMA Egypt


First, thank you for giving me the opportunity to have such a great interview.

DAMA Egypt is a not-for-profit data management association that aims to be a regional Data Management hub, Center of Excellence and Data Influencer in best practice, education and certification to enable Egyptians and region citizens to value their data as an asset and professionals to manage that data asset.


DAMA Egypt is an active forming local chapter to DAMA International the global data management community. In August 2022, DAMA International had officially announced the first Middle East Egyptian Chapter “DAMA Egypt - Cairo”, under leadership of Karim El Helaly, the founder and president of DAMA Egypt, where it was the foundation of a digital and data centric transformation initiatives in Egypt and the region.


We immediately started the foundation process by bringing the founding members led by Karim El Helaly the president of DAMA Egypt – Cairo.


DAMA Egypt is a forum for the exchange of information relating to information management and global data management association. Its vision is to empower data literacy and raise data awareness. Its mission is to enable and drive data professionals and organization to achieve the highest level of information and data management. Moreover, our value proposition is to become the centre of excellence in data practices for the Egyptian data-community.


Could you describe how DAMA Egypt promotes data literacy? 


In Cairo, Egypt, we wanted to change the data culture from data disengagement to have a local Data community that helps our citizens tend to rely on data in their life for better use of technology. We believe that increasing awareness of the importance of data management plays a significant role in promoting data literacy. DAMA Egypt became a central of knowledge sharing and networking for data management disciplines. More than 100+ Egyptian data professionals were brought together in one group by solidifying the Egyptian data community. 


In less than one year many initiatives started to occur, we conducted many sessions, webinars, and members meetings. We held many governmental initiatives by performing Data awareness day for ministries and universities. Then we brought to the community the DAMA Café sessions which are Data talks and sharing knowledge in all different data domains and trends. We held a CDMP Study group for studying and preparation for global the recognition certifications.  And recently we offered our member DAMA Egypt public library which contains all sessions recordings, materials, and useful information about the community for all activities.


Considering the big developments in technologies that are currently taking place, how are these new technologies influencing your data strategies?


As a fact, big development in technologies are currently taking place at an unprecedented rate, these new technologies are having a significant impact on data strategies. In which the highly notable developments include:


Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI): AL and ML are enabling effective ways to collect, manage, and analyse data. As organizations are empowered with AI are automatically discovering and classify their data, while ML algorithms helps identify patterns and trends in data that is very difficult to find manually. These algorithms are hard to be managed on traditional databases, it uses different storage and Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) where Big Data capabilities are utilized. Where modern data platforms are considered to develop data lakes or data lake houses that process different types of data, not only structured data.


Cloud Computing: It is now getting easier and more effective affordable to organizations to store and manage large amount of data using Cloud Computing services, it is a concept of Software as a service SaaS anywhere as thousands of services are already offered through cloud providers and payment is as Pay as go, so it is cost-effective and scalable.


Edge Computing: Where it is bringing data processing and storage closer to the devices where data is generated. This can help reduce latency and improve performance  for applications in real time.


Internet of Things (IoT): Where IoT is connecting billions of devices to the internet, generating huge amounts of data. Processing and analysing these data can improve efficiency, optimize operations, and develop new products and services.


These new technologies are influencing data strategies in many numbers of ways, as any organization adopting the world digital change, it should have a digital strategy that includes a robust data strategy to enable its digital transformation. 


In addition, data strategies are becoming increasingly important to any organisation and should also include new data technologies that are influencing data strategies such as:


Data Governance: Data is an Asset should be an organisation principle, so it is an asset it should be protected and governed. As volume and complexity of data grows rapidly, some organisations might face challenges in terms of data governance and compliance.


However, developing an organization Data Governance framework is recommended that is based on standards adopted by international compliance and ensures data is managed and protected in the right way.


Data democratization: New technologies are making it easier for non-technical users to access and analyse data. This is leading to a more data-driven culture within organizations. By increasing data literacy and awareness to non-technical users, so data is not only an IT job.


Data ethics: As the use of data grows, there is increasing concern about the ethical implications of data collection and analysis. New technologies can help organizations to ensure that their data practices are ethical and responsible.


Generally, the big developments in technologies that are currently taking place are having a profound impact on data strategies. Organizations that can adapt to these changes and leverage new technologies will be well-positioned to succeed in the future.


In Egypt, what are the biggest challenges in data management? Either inside companies, organisations or governments?


In Egypt, organizations face various challenges in managing their data effectively, these challenges limit their ability to leverage data and analytics for informed better decision-making. Some of these challenges can be described as follows:


Lack of Data Governance: Many organizations still have a lack of a comprehensive data governance framework that defines clear roles, responsibilities for management of data assets. Which in many situations leads to data silos, poor quality of data and risks increasing.


Data Quality issues: A critical challenge for many organizations to ensure accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data across multiple sources and systems. These inconsistencies and inaccuracies lead to accurate decision-making.


Data Literacy and Culture: Many organisations have not adopted a data driven culture, where data is valued as a strategic asset and used to inform better decision-making. This culture shift requires leadership support, training, and focus on data literacy across the whole organization.


Limited Data capabilities and Expertise: The shortage of skilled data professionals poses a significant challenge for organisations seeking to implement effective data management practices. So, it is important and highly recommended that data people shall improve their capabilities by learning and rely on data standards and continue their career learning path in data domains. 


Despite these challenges, there are a number of initiatives DAMA Egypt has started to improve data management in Egypt and help overcome these challenges. In addition, the Egyptian government has launched a national digital transformation strategy that includes a focus on data governance and data protection, and a number of private sector companies are offering data management solutions and services for Egyptian organizations.


How does DAMA Egypt make alliances with DAMA in other countries? What is the organisation trying to achieve with these associations?


DAMA Egypt make alliances with DAMA in other countries through a variety of channels including:


DAMA Egypt - DAMA South Africa Mentorship program: As DAMA–I is promoting DAMA Mentorship program, immediately we wanted to activate this program in the region with such active Chapter as DAMA South Africa, there is a solid DAMA EMEA chapters cooperation between Egypt & South Africa which really shows the value of DAMA – I Mentorship program, we together in Africa have the same spirit of sharing knowledge and networking.


DAMA Egypt – DAMA Australia Marketing Collaboration: DAMA Australia is one of the biggest Chapters across the world that is highly active and promoting the data management awareness in the Australian continent. We worked together and connected together to build regional relationships and support for marketing and social media. 


DAMA Egypt – DAMA Australia Women-in-data initiative:   DAMA-Egypt and DAMA-Australia have joined forces for women-in-data initiative to share experiences, identify challenges and most importantly brainstorm solutions to enhance the career path of women-in-data.


Thus, these collaborations activities outline the terms of the alliances is such of:


Knowledge Sharing and Networking: DAMA Egypt and the other DAMA chapter may share knowledge and resources on data management best practices, research, and events.


Training and education: DAMA Egypt and the other DAMA chapter may offer joint training and education sessions on data management topics.


Advocacy: DAMA Egypt and the other DAMA chapter may work together to advocate for data management awareness and best practices.


Overall, DAMA Egypt's alliances with DAMA in other countries are mutually beneficial. They help to promote the advancement of data management in Egypt, enhance the professional development of data management professionals in Egypt, and raise the profile of DAMA Egypt and Egyptian data management professionals on the global stage.


How would DAMA Egypt advise companies to promote data governance?


We would advise companies to promote data governance by following these steps:


Data Management Maturity Assessment: Develop an organization data management maturity assessment to measure where the organization is positioned in terms of the international standard practice of data management and data governance. And to promote a robust data strategy that enables the organization goals and objectives.


Develop a data governance framework: A data governance framework provides a set of policies, procedures, and roles and responsibilities for managing data. It is important that all stakeholders in the organization are involved in the data governance framework including business leaders, IT professionals and data stewards.


Establish data governance roles and responsibilities: Data governance roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined and communicated to all stakeholders. This will help to ensure that everyone understands their role in managing data and that data governance tasks are carried out effectively.


Implement data management technologies: Data management technologies can help organizations to manage their data more effectively. This includes technologies such as data catalogs, data quality tools, and data security tools.


Provide training to employees: It is important to provide training to employees on data governance best practices. This will help employees to understand the importance of data governance and how to manage data effectively in their role.


Monitor and improve data governance processes: Data governance processes should be monitored and improved on an ongoing basis. This will help to ensure that data governance is effective and that it meets the needs of the organization.


DAMA Egypt also offers a number of sessions to help companies promote data governance, including awareness sessions, publications, and public libraries.


Finally, how do you project the growth of DAMA?


I project that DAMA Egypt will continue to grow in the coming years. This is due to several factors, including:

  • The increasing importance of data: Data is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes. Organizations are recognizing the value of data and are investing in data management solutions and services. This is creating a growing demand for skilled data professionals.

  • The rise of digital transformation: Many organizations are undergoing digital transformation, which is changing the way they collect, store, manage, and use data. This is creating new opportunities for data management professionals.

  • The increasing awareness of data governance: Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data governance. This is leading to a growing demand for data governance professionals.

  • The support of DAMA International: DAMA International provides support and resources to DAMA Egypt. This helps DAMA Egypt to grow its membership and reach more people.


Based on these factors, I project that DAMA Egypt will grow by 15-20% per year in the coming years. This growth will be driven by the increasing demand for skilled data professionals, the rise of digital transformation, the increasing awareness of data governance, and the support of DAMA International.


Overall, I believe that DAMA Egypt has a bright future. The association is well-positioned to benefit from the growing demand for data management professionals, the rise of digital transformation, the increasing awareness of data governance, and the support of DAMA International.

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